Hip hip hooray, we’re on our way

One of my favorite kids books was “The Berenstein Bears Take a Vacation.” In it, the family shouts as they’re leaving “Hip hip hooray, we’re on our way! The Bears’ vacation starts today!” That became our family ditty when we were leaving for the beach or for Maine. Now it’s tradition that I say it nearly every time Nate and I head for the hills. We got up early this morning to avoid traffic around Boston and succeeded, but we’re pretty groggy starting out. Now the caffeine has kicked in and we’re merrily on our way to Idaho! (with some planned stops along the way at Niagara, Montana and S. Dakota)

To make my oncologist a little happier, we decided to delay the trip by a few days so that I could have a chemo treatment before leaving. That was yesterday, and despite not having my usual, wonderful onco nurse Kelly, the infusion went fine and I ended up with minimal effects. Apparently, mitigating chemotherapy effects with drugs has come a long way. The irinotecan infusion causes sweating, clammy skin, nausea, diarrhea and stomach cramping- all pretty nasty, BUT a little injection of a wonder drug called atropine makes it nearly all go away! Wonderful.

It was a long day, as we went to Boston early for an appointment at the wound clinic. It was blazing hot in the city and poor Nate got a migraine brought on by the heat. Despite it, he drove like a boss My wound is healing up pretty well except for one small, deep spot. Healing will probably slow down more now that I’m getting Avastin, which works against cancer growths by blocking blood vessels to rapidly dividing tissue.

A few weeks ago I met with an interventional radiologist at Tufts to discuss more treatment options. In August he’s going to do a procedure on me called intraarterial chemoablation. It involves inserting a tiny tube through a big artery to inject tiny beads & chemo into the veins around my liver. The beads are meant to block blood flow to the tumors, hopefully killing / reducing them. Sounds hopeful! It’s considered minor surgery and I was told that most people don’t experience bad side effects following the procedure. The radiologist said that he’d like to do the procedure three times- one for each lobe of the liver, and if I tolerate it well, a third for good measure.

In other news, my hair seems to be growing back…. slowly. At least it has stopped thinning, and right after I went and had it buzzed 🙂 Nate keeps calling me Annie Lennox.

I’ll try to post some pics on here of beautiful places we visit.